Meet Monsanto's Other Herbicide Problem...

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier this year we wrote about a series of court documents that were unsealed and seemingly revealed a startling effort on the part of both Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work in concert to kill and/or discredit independent, albeit inconvenient, cancer research conducted by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) related to their key herbicidal product, RoundUp.  The efforts to kill the research came even as Monsanto's own lead toxicologist, Donna Farmer, admitted that she "cannot say that Roundup does not cause cancer" because "[w]e [Monsanto] have not done the carcinogenicity studies with Roundup" (see: Monsanto Colluded With EPA, Was Unable To Prove Roundup Does Not Cause Cancer, Unsealed Court Docs Reveal).

But, as Reuters points out today, RoundUp isn't the only Monsanto herbicide causing outrage in the ag community these days as state regulators all across the country say they're being flooded with reports from farmers that Dicamba, Monsanto's other herbicide, is increasingly becoming airborne and killing crops far away from the fields where they were actually applied.

U.S. farmers have overwhelmed state governments with thousands of complaints about crop damage linked to new versions of weed killers, threatening future sales by manufacturers Monsanto Co (MON.N) and BASF SE (BASFn.DE).


Monsanto is banking on weed killers using a chemical known as dicamba - and seeds engineered to resist it - to dominate soybean production in the United States, the world’s second-largest exporter.


The United States has faced a weed-killer crisis this year caused by the new formulations of dicamba-based herbicides, which farmers and weed experts say have harmed crops because they evaporate and drift away from where they are applied.

Regulators in several major soybean-growing states, including Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois, each say they received roughly four years’ worth of complaints about possible pesticide damage to crops this year due to dicamba use.

Now agriculture officials face long backlogs of cases to investigate, which are driving up costs for lab tests and overtime. Several states had to reassign employees to handle the load.


“We don’t have the staff to be able to handle 400 investigations in a year plus do all the other required work,” said Paul Bailey, director of the Plant Industries division of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.


In Missouri, farmers filed about 310 complaints over suspected dicamba damage, on top of the roughly 80 complaints about pesticides the state receives in a typical year, he said.


Nationwide, states launched 2,708 investigations into dicamba-related plant injury by Oct. 15, according to data compiled by the University of Missouri.

Of course, Monsanto has bet on dicamba-tolerant soybeans to replace those that withstand glyphosate, the key ingredient in RoundUp, because it has become less effective over the years as weeds develop resistance...and because of that pesky European research which suggests the product causes cancer.

The problem is that if you're not planting dicamba-resistant soybean seeds then you could quickly find yourself among the growing list of Monsanto's spray drift you better buy Monsanto seeds...see how that works?

Of course, Monsanto has decided to simply blame spray companies saying that the "herbicides are safe when properly applied."

Monsanto and BASF say the herbicides are safe when properly applied. They need to convince regulators after the flood of complaints to state agriculture departments.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last year approved use of the weed killers on dicamba-resistant crops during the summer growing season. Previously, farmers used dicamba to kill weeds before they planted seeds, and not while the crops were growing.


However, the EPA approved such use only until Nov. 9, 2018, because “extraordinary precautions” are needed to prevent dicamba products from tainting vulnerable crops, a spokesman told Reuters in a statement last week. The agency wanted to be able to step in if there were problems, he said.


Next year, the EPA will determine whether to extend its approval by reviewing damage complaints and consulting with state and industry experts. States are separately considering new restrictions on usage for 2018.

In conclusion, with Dicamba usage up for regulatory review, it seems that it may be time for Monsanto execs to start pulling some strings at the EPA again...

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Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

I believe it's actually anti-spelling.

Citizen G's picture

It’s not even possible at this point.

ted41776's picture

cancer is safe and effective

GoinFawr's picture

Cancer: It's what's for dinner!

unsafe-space-time's picture

That's right. You know how they try to grow meat in a petri dish? Some strains of cancer have no problem growing just about on anything. So they can just grow a bunch of tumors on some malt extract and put it in cans like spam.

JuliaS's picture

As every doctor knows, more people live off cancer than die from it.

how_this_stuff_works's picture

"cancer is safe and effective."

Isn't that what Cali recently determined about HIV?

ludwigvmises's picture

Remember Bayer is buying these guys now. Once the cancer chaos breaks lose it might well bankrupt Bayer who took on crazy amounts of debt to finance this.

ted41776's picture

that cancer looks bad, you should take some aspirin (TM)

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Bayer probably has a cancer treatment up their sleeve.  They'll piss down your back, and tell you it's raining.

Rex Andrus's picture

Bayer aka IG Farben is buying them back.

Rex Andrus's picture

Following the precedent they established over the last 30 years, Monsanto is now suing farmers whose crops were destroyed because they didn't pay them for the herbicide that destroyed their crops. The Monsanto genocide campaign continues unabated.

any_mouse's picture

"Monsanto is banking on weed killers using a chemical known as dicamba - and seeds engineered to resist it - to dominate soybean production in the United States, the world’s second-largest exporter."

There's the Corporate Cancer.

Market Domination of the Global Food Supply.


Single Point of Failure of an ecosystem.

Causing Cancer in humans, is secondary to the larger damage to Global Food Supply.

Let's all fund a movie about Hollywood.

fbazzrea's picture

"Until recently, the fight over Roundup has mostly focused on its active ingredient, glyphosate. But mounting evidence, including one studypublished in February, shows it’s not only glyphosate that’s dangerous, but also chemicals listed as “inert ingredients” in some formulations of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers. Though they have been in herbicides — and our environment — for decades, these chemicals have evaded scientific scrutiny and regulation in large part because the companies that make and use them have concealed their identity as trade secrets.

"Now, as environmental scientists have begun to puzzle out the mysterious chemicals sold along with glyphosate, evidence that these so-called inert ingredients are harmful has begun to hit U.S. courts. In addition to Sanders and Tanner, at least four people who developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup have sued Monsanto in recent months, citing the dangers of both glyphosate and the co-formulants sold with it. As Tanner and Sanders’s complaint puts it: Monsanto “knew or should have known that Roundup is more toxic than glyphosate alone and that safety studies of Roundup, Roundup’s adjuvants and ‘inert’ ingredients” were necessary.

"Research on these chemicals seems to have played a role in the stark disagreement over glyphosate’s safety that has played out on the international stage over the last year. In March 2015, using research on both glyphosate alone and the complete formulations of Roundup and other herbicides, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. The IARC report noted an association between non-Hodgkin lymphoma and glyphosate, significant evidence that the chemical caused cancer in lab animals, and strong evidence that it damaged human DNA."--

Drachma's picture


The problem is that glyphosate hinders the cytochrome P450 enzyme system, which is responsible for de-toxifying toxic organic chemicals we are exposed to everyday in our food, air and water. When that system is compromised by glyphosate your body succumbs much faster to the deleterious effects of all other toxins in our environment. Ergo, glyphosate, aside from its own known toxic effects, makes all other toxins handled by P450 that much more toxic, as they tend to remain for longer periods of time in their active form in the body. This is why there is a growing correlation between glyphosate use and multiple organ system destruction. Here is a very small sampling of the mountains of scientific material available on glyphosate toxicity and health effects:

Samsel, A. and Seneff, S., 2013a. Glyphosate’s suppression of cytochrome P450 enzymes and amino
acid biosynthesis by the gut microbiome: pathways to modern diseases. Entropy, 15(4): 1416-

Scribner, E.A., Battaglin, W.A., Gilliom, R.J. And Meyer, M.T., 2007 Concentrations of glyphosate, its
degradation product, aminomethylphophonic acid, and glufosinate in ground- and surface-water,
rainfall, and soil samples collected in the United States, 2001-06S. Geological Survey Scientific
Investigations Report 2007-5122.

Antoniou, M., Habib, M.E.M., Howard, C.V., Jennings, R.C., Leifert, C., Nodari, R.O., Robinson, C.J.
and Fagan. J., 2012. Teratogenic Effects of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides: Divergence of
Regulatory Decisions from Scientific Evidence. Journal of Environmental and Analytical
Toxicology, S: 4.

Arregui, M.C., Lenardón, A., Sanchez, D., Maitre, M.I. and Enrique, S., 2004. Monitoring glyphosate
residues in transgenic glyphosate-resistant soybean. Pesticide Management Science, 60(2): 163-

Benbrook, C.B., 2012. Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. -- the first
sixteen years. Environmental Sciences Europe, 24(24): 2190-4715. (Viewed: 9 February, 2013)

Bohn, T., Cuhra, M., Travail, T., Sanden, M., Fagan, J. and Primicerio, R., 2014. Compositional
differences in soybeans on the market: glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans.
Food Chemistry. 153: 207-15.

Carman, J. A., Vlieger, H.R., Ver Steeg, L.J., Sheller, V.E., Robinson, G.W., Clinch-Jones C.A.,
Haynes, J.I., John, W. and Edwards, J.W., 2013. A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a
combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet, Journal of Organic Systems, 8(1):

Shehata, A.A., Schrodl, W., Aldin, A.A., Hafez, H.M. and Kruger, M., 2012. The effect of glyphosate on
potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro. Current Microbiology,

Cattani, D., de Liz Oliveira Cavalli, V.L., Heinz Rig, C.E., Dominguez, J.T., Dal-Cim, T., Tosca, C.I.,
Mena Barreto Silva, F.R. and Zamoner, A,. 2014. Mechanisms underlying the neurotoxicity
induced by glyphosate-based herbicide in immature rat hippocampus: Involvement of glutamate
excitotoxicity. Toxicology. 2014 Mar 15;320C:34-4.

Marc, J., Mulner-Lorillon, O. and Bellé, R., 2004. Glyphosate-based pesticides affect cell cycle
regulation, Biology of the Cell, 96(3): 245-249.

Mercurio P, Flores F, Mueller JF, Carter S, Negri AP. 2014. Glyphosate persistence in seawater.
Marine Pollution Bulletin, 85(2): 385-390.

Samsel, A. and Seneff, S., 2013b. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and
gluten intolerance. Interdisciplinary Toxicology, 6(4): 159-184.

Merlo, S., Spampinato, S., Canonico, P.L., Copani, A. and Sortino, M.A., 2010. Alzheimer’s disease:
brain expression of a metabolic disorder? Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 21(9): 537-

Chang, F.C., Simcik, M.F. and Capel, P.D., 2011. Occurrence and fate of the herbicide glyphosate
and its degradate aminomethylphosphonic acid in the atmosphere. Environmental Toxicology and
Chemistry, 30(3): 548-55.

Coupe, R.H., Kalkhoff, S.J., Capelc, P.D., and Gregoired, C., 2012. Fate and transport of glyphosate
and aminomethylphosphonic acid in surface waters of agricultural basins. Pest Management
Science, 68(1): 16-30.

de Cock, M., Maas, Y.G. and van de Bor M., 2012. Does perinatal exposure to endocrine disruptors
induce autism spectrum and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders? Acta Paediatric, 101(8): 811-

Bergman, A., Heindel, J.J., Jobling, S., Kidd, K.A. and R. Zoeller, T. (eds.), 2013. State of the science
of endocrine disrupting chemicals 2012, United Nations Environment Programme and the World
Health Organization, ISBN: 978-92-807-3274-0 (UNEP) and 978 92 4 150503 1 (WHO) (NLM
classification: WK 102)

Luck Dragon's picture

The pig study is fascinating.

Seems there is a direct result in infertility and GM / Transgenic crops.

Drachma's picture

7th one down in my list. I do have some criticism of the methodology, but still and interesting study. Cheers.

fbazzrea's picture

oddly, our three posts with substantiating links are downvoted. 

just the tip's picture

mr. pruitt.

paging mr. pruitt.

scott pruitt, pick up your damn phone.

lest ye be labeled the jeff sessions of the EPA.

Phillyguy's picture

US “regulatory” agencies (EPA, FDA) cannot let a little problem, such as an herbicide causing cancer, interfere with profit generation by Monsanto, BASF and other huge corporations.  

any_mouse's picture

Federal Government decriminalizes Marijuana when Bayer/Monsanto are ready to dominate the Marijuana industry.

Bayer owns the patents to cannabis seed strains.

Federal Regulations and Patent law will then put local growers out of business.

Someday WashDC will enact a Clean Air Act that will place a tax/fee on everyone and everything that breathes. Humans, Pets, Livestock. A major Corporation will get the contract.

techpriest's picture

And it will be some Congressman's cousin who chairs the board.

BeepBeepRichie's picture

Oh good, more of that better living through chemistry... queue giant asteroid

lulu34's picture

So where are the sophisticated drone photos of the "damage" ? Otherwise, just more bullshit complaints.

kahplunk's picture

Lets poor you a nice glass of that safe round up and drink it down you fucker

WillyGroper's picture

their soyboi witches brew has caused the over production of fruits with no nuts.

Sean7k's picture

Let's all complain about how corporations and government are killing if we didn't know it already? There is a simple solution, stop playing along. We know where the toxic foods come from, yes? We know where the toxic water comes from, yes? We can't do much about the air, but we can live in the country.

We don't have to vote, we don't have to consume such large amounts, oh wait, we want our cake and wish to eat it too!

If you continue to accept the bs of the joominati and mic's of the world, then QUIT YOUR BITCHING. Your degree of slavery is up to you. The elites kill their own, did you really think they won't kill us?

kahplunk's picture

Be the change however, most Americans are lazy fat ass fucking retards. 

techpriest's picture

For the air, there are a few things you can do. Most important is to take advantage of the z axis, and get some trees, vines, etc. going.

Also, for awareness-raising, you can buy a domain + Wordpress on Bluehost for less than $100/year. I'm working on a search engine that lets you search in a known network of publishers, so at some point in the not too distant future we can publish the "solutions" to all kinds of problems and have self-hosted search engines that make them easy to find among the hundreds/low thousands of publishers in a given network.

Then our "bitching" can at least be funneled into posts that can be searched and shared later.

yaright's picture

Not a farmer here but I know a little about this stuff.  If not applied perfectly (wind sun humidity) you will have drift and when it lands it kills everything. Not too far from me we have a lake with 3 miles of dead tree killed by drift.


Monsanto is an evil ass company

GETrDun's picture

I guess putting Roundup on my nutsack was a bad idea.

Doubleguns's picture

Shit evaporates. Floats away and kills other plants........what happens when humans breath that evaporated shit. 

GoinFawr's picture

"most humans are a different family/genus/species altogether from plants, so they'll be fine...", said a spokesperson <cough>

how_this_stuff_works's picture

""most humans are a different family/genus/species altogether from plants, so they'll be fine...", said a spokesperson "

Oh, kinda like the scientist who said Round-up was "safe enough to drink," then asked the interviewer who offered him a glass if he was "crazy."

Manipuflation's picture

Any ag chemistry should never evaporate or drift once applied.  You would not get very good control from that application.  Volatilization can be controlled easily by noting the temperature when you are spraying.  Ester formulations are much more expensive than amine formulations.  The esters will go volatile on you if you don't know what you are doing.  Never spray esters above 65F.

Perhaps that is the issue?  No one knows their chemistry?  Or they were running a co-op terra-gator with half a load left? 

You can't store a mixed batch in your tank once you mix it or things will end up poorly.  The chemistry of the the fill water is going to change the active ingredients properties.  Do you really think applicators are using distilled water to mitgate the reactions?

SgtShaftoe's picture

All the executives at Monsanto and everyone in a management position at EPA should be force-fed 1 gallon of Glysophate each.  Fuck these evil cocksuckers.  I hope they suffer terribly for all the deaths caused and evil tactics they have foisted upon the populations.  

Manipuflation's picture

Chemistry is not why I don't like Monsanto.  It's Monsanto's plant patenting that is evil.  I have been a licensed commerical pesticide applicator since the 90's and have run everything from hand sprayers to Terra-Gators.

I love fipronil but not in the hands of homeowners who spray the shit everywhere not realizing it's mode of action.  Then everyone wonders why the honeybees are all dying off.  Fipronil used to be highly self-regulated but then BASF decided to let everyone use the chemistry around 2008 and it started turning up on the shelves of retail garden centers in pre-mix form.  With fipronil, it doesn't take much to do a lot of damage. 

SgtShaftoe's picture

Yes, I avoid the aisles containing roundup and other herbicides and pesticides in the big box stores.  It is poison and it is over used as you state.  

I have a ton of issues with Monsanto.  Let me count the ways:

1) Patented seeds and viscious prosecution of anyone, ANYONE saving their own heirloom seeds when they are contaminated or suspected of having Monsatan's evil genes that tresspassed on their property.  Many families have lost their entire farms from these bastards and they don't even want Monsanto's seeds or genes.  We little farmers should be able to sue Monsanto for contamination and tresspass.  

2) EPA and Monsanto collusion and coverup of huge increase in cancer rates and IBS/Krohns from Glysophate et al.  

3) The risks of GM crops aren't small or theoretical:

4) Promotion of using Glysophate to dessicate wheat crops resulting in nearly all conventional wheat being contaminated (see IBS/Krohns)

5) buying of "science" fabrication of research papers and bullying of any researchers trying to test the safety of these "food" products in animal trials (Seralini study, et al)


The scale of the coverup and the public health impact have reached a point of essentially slow-motion genocide on middle to lower class people.  It is incredibly criminal and they should all be in prison. 

We run an organic farm and I grew up on a conventional farm as a kid.  We don't use anything other than insects, animal and plant interactions and nature-made pesticides like Kaolin clay in a slurry, or nolo bait.  Our pastures are improving, our soil health has improved dramatically and our food is pretty amazing.  Fighting natural systems is a losing battle.  It's far better to use those natural systems to your favor in farming.  It works very well and it's cheaper.  Though it requires a complete rethink in how farms are laid out and operated.  



DaveyJones's picture

Well said Sgt. And the dessicate is also used on "NON GMO" crops, so the labelling gets ever more deceptive. Round-up was indeed held up in the beginning when what was left of an objective regulatory agency had scientists with big concerns. THose days are long over. And even though Europe applies the shit in many places, its limit levels are significantly lower than the good ole USA 

Manipuflation's picture

Quackgrass was the real reason behind glyphosate.  And thistle.  Now buckthorn but that tends towards triclopyr.

Manipuflation's picture

Now that you explain this more clearly other folks can hopefully understand what is really so dangerous about plant patents of heirlooms and unrestricted use of pesticides.  For my garden, I buy my seeds from Baker Creek Farms and they are heirloom.  I rarely use pesticide and didn't at all this year.  I use old cut up rubber car floormats in the rows to keep weeds down and we use a really fine mesh clear woven fabric over our Brassicas.(Think long wedding gowns that were only used once).  It works great to keep the cabbage looper moths off the plants yet let water and sunlight in.  I do use a bit of water soluble fertilizer as blooms set.  More than half the stuff you need to grow a garden can be found in dumpsters or in the nearby woods.  But that is gardening and not big-Ag.

cheech_wizard's picture

Upvoted for Baker Creek Farms... been using their seeds for about 8 years now.


Manipuflation's picture

Dicamba is not a new chmeistry.  In fact, it was first registered in 1967.  I sold a lot of it and sprayed a lot of it.  Dicamba is hard on trees and shrubs.  Dicamba is expensive as well so farmers are not inclined to use it often.

There are drift reduction agents and sticker surfactants that reduce drift and volatilization.  The biggest thing you can do to stop any pesticide drift is to STOP SPRAYING IN THE FUCKING GUSTING WINDS/Or temperature inversions/or spraying when it is 90F or above.  Off target drift is the fault of the applicator and not the chemistry.  Read the fucking label. 

Norsky's picture

Yep, used it when I farmed with my father in the 70's & 80's. Stuff has been around a long time but never had any problems with drift because we were careful. Didn't want to kill our own soybeans.

Ol' Monsanto had a good thing going with the GMO Roundup Ready seeds but that has lost its luster and they no longer have a monopoly in that market. Hence, they do the GMO thing for dicamba-tolerant soybeans. New twist and new monopoly. 

Manipuflation's picture

Here is another thing you likely noticed.  The co-ops offer appliocation services.  I worked for a co-op as an applicator for a while and you run on a schedule and not whether it makes sense to go out or not.  For what small farms are left, they can't afford to expensive spray app equipment sitting around that they only use a couple of times a year.  That is a big part of the problem. 

We would go out in a fleet of three Terra-gators with tenders and we sometimes end up 30 miles from the co-op.  Weather conditions can change and do.  Terra-gators are massive diesel burning machines.  That link is exactly what I used to run.  It's GPS.  GPS does not work well in the wind because it can't compensate.  The headrows always seemed to throw off the Ravens.  I digress, you have already burnt so much fuel that you can't go home and call it a day.  You are forced to wait and then have to do something that you know is wrong.  Then you get stuck late in the day and have 3/4 of a load to spray.  

Norsky, I think you have been there too. 

besnook's picture

meanwhile russian crops are just about 100% organic and set to be the world's largest supplier of organic, non gmo crops.